Trudeau meets New Zealand's new PM Ardern on sidelines of Southeast Asian summit

MANILA, Philippines _ Justin Trudeau held a bilateral meeting today in the Philippines with the recently elected New Zealand Prime Minister Jacina Ardern _ who’s drawn comparisons to the Canadian leader.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian summit in Manila, where Trudeau is trying to increase Canada’s presence in the region in areas such as security and trade.

The two young prime ministers greeted each other warmly during a brief pre-meeting exchange in front of journalists from both countries.

Trudeau said he hoped they could dig deeper during their meeting about their shared values such as progressive trade issues, climate change and the development of international feminist policy.

He also said he believed they could learn a lot from each other when it comes to addressing Indigenous issues since the countries have similar challenges and approaches.

The 37-year-old Ardern said she and Trudeau have discovered they have a lot in common _ not just in terms of their countries’ interests and challenges, but on a personal level as well.

Her liberal Labour Party formed a government following New Zealand’s September election and she was sworn in late last month.